Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello people, how are you today? Last week we thought spring was here, the daffodils were out and life was looking rosy. Seven days later, there are flurries of snow and we are plunged into mid-winter all over again.
By the way, can you see the 'holes' in the bush to the left of the photograph? We have a number of sparrows nesting in that bush and those are the windows they have made to get in and out of the greenery to be able to get in and out before the cat can get at them - I see them coming out of that bush every day to the nuts we have hung on the branches of a tree opposite.
I had a week off work, and we were meant to be in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, we didn't actually leave Birmingham Airport - our flight was stood down at the very last minute, after we'd checked in and were due to board. We were then herded into the Arrivals hall, made to pick up our luggage and get back in line to book onto another flight.
The flight that they offered us was the red eye to Amsterdam, the next day - this would have meant that we went home, and got back to the airport at 330 am. Having stood in queues for the best part of six hours, we declined the offer and got a taxi back home. The winner? Wilfred the cat got to come home from the cattery three days early!
I was sick and tired of the whole thing by the end of the day, and it will be a cold day in hell before I venture into making plans for another holiday - I have now the unpleasant task of recovering all the money spent on the various activities I had booked in advance - jazz concert tickets, bus tickets to the Keukenhof Gardens, etc, etc.
Oh well, that's that I suppose, except that the hotel insists that they will not refund us, but give us a voucher to stay with them at any time in the next six months - I guess that cold day in hell will come, after all! We licked our wounds for a couple of days and eventually ventured out into Coventry, to an exhibition we had wanted to get to for a while.
Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken - Daniel Lismore
Daniel Lismore is a 37 year old artist who has been dubbed the 'most eccentrically dressed man in Britain' by Vogue magazine. Brought up in Coventry, he ended up in London where he worked as a photographer and model. He is known for living his life as art by wearing elaborate and extravagant ensembles that combine haute couture with vintage fabrics, found objects, chainmail, ethnic jewellery, millinery and more, in an expression of eccentric, creative energy. Inspired by art in all its forms.
We went along, well ok, Michael was dragged along because I was intrigued by his style and the jewellery he was wearing, not knowing what to expect. Wham! We were confronted by several rooms of eight foot high figurines, all with his face, wearing the most elaborate costumes, a lot of them with a political message to them. I then read that he had been inspired by the Terracotta Army of Xian, which I have had the pleasure of visiting a number of years ago.
This exhibition plays homage to Daniel Lismore's earliest inspiration - the Chinese Terracotta Army. Much like the warriors of the Terracotta Army, each one of Lismore's sculptures is unique, but together they form a united cohort, standing in solidarity in a regimented fashion.
These sculptures are some of Lismore's most embellished works, comprising metals, jewels, armour, chainmail and more. Lismore incorporates the idea of clothing as armour into his sculptures as a symbol of protection. He was the first person to wear armour to Parliament since it was made illegal by Oliver Cromwell.
In his 2019 TED Talk My Life as a Work of Art, Lismore says
"Picture yourself in a giant jewellery box with all the beautiful things that you have ever seen in your life. Then imagine that your body is a canvas, and on that canvas you have a mission to create a masterpiece using the content of your giant jewellery box. Once you've created your masterpiece you might think 'Wow, I created that, this is who I am today'.
Then you would pick up your house keys walk out the door into the real world, maybe take public transport into the centre of your town. Possibly walk along the streets or even go shopping.
Well, that's my life every day. When I walk out the door, these artworks are me. I am art."
I guess all of us who like nice clothes, and wear make up and jewellery are doing just that, to some extent.
He is known for living his life as art by wearing elaborate and extravagant ensembles that combine haute couture with vintage fabrics, found objects, chainmail, ethnic jewellery, millinery and more, in an expression of eccentric, creative energy. Inspired by art in all its forms, history and his travels, Lismore seems to combine and amalgamate multiple inspirations from around the world into vibrant expressions of cultural appreciation.
The one on the left is Michael my hubby, who was made to stand there to show perspective. I love the use of jewellery beetle wings, masai necklaces, Afghan jewellery, pearls, Miao neckpieces, boomerangs, Balinese jewellery, and feathers, among many other elements to embellish the outfits.
We left the exhibition with a sense of awe - the creativity of people never ceases to amaze. We rounded the corner and went into another room at the gallery - and couldn't have found anything more diametrically opposite to what had just excited our senses!!
Well, at least that brought a smile to our faces and we drove back in a suddenly sunshiny afternoon, feeling that we had been somewhere interesting.
I've finally decided what I'm going to make next and have sent off for beads and crystals. I also have a beaded necklace to complete - I misjudged the number of beads I required and had to send for more before I went to India, but haven't picked that piece back up yet.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.